Mechanical

An Open Letter To The British People

Dear Brits,

Ever since I've moved over to your lovely country, I've been quite stymied by a little problem which burns in the back of my brain. You see, I don't think George Bush is evil. His actions certainly are, but he's not. Why? Because George Bush is too stupid to understand what's going on. Remember when he attended a photo op to read "My Pet Goat" to children, America was attacked and he was too stupid to realize that it was time to put the book down and get to work? He had to be told by his aides to do that. Of course, we all know plenty of other examples, but the point I want to make is that George Bush is a carefully-planted idiot designed to appeal to the anti-intellectual sentiment storming the US. I have trouble crediting him with being evil if he's too stupid to know he's a puppet.

That's not the little problem that's been bugging me, though. You see, whatever you might say about Vice President Tony Blair, this man is not stupid. I've listened to him speak. He's articulate, thoughtful, and clearly is paying attention to what's going on in the world around him. Yes, you're getting my implication. Your Vice President (hey, you guys coined that term yourself!) is evil. He knows what he's doing and he doesn't care. Personally, I doubt he thinks he's evil. I'm sure Adolf Hitler prided himself on his being a vegetarian. However, Blair's a dangerous evil because he seems like an intelligent, thoughtful, nice guy. An intelligent, thoughtful, nice guy who kills people. Maybe he didn't pull the trigger directly, but if I hire someone to kill someone else, I'm just as culpable. This is what's bothering me. Why the hell are you so complacent about this man? In the US, there's not much which can be done to end Bush's reign of (t)error. If you were to start demanding that your government representatives, er, represent you, then it should be far easier to fire Blair's incompetent ass. Or maybe you like the fact that you're rich and alive and you don't care much about dead brown people several countries away? I guess Brits and Americans have more in common that I thought.

To prove how intelligent, yet evil Blair is, let's just consider how he screwed John Prescott. Just a quick review for those following along at home:

  1. An Israeli soldier gets kidnapped by a terrorist group.
  2. Israel invades another country, bombs UN Peacekeepers, is still killing civilians, refuses to listen to the international community begging them to back away from the brink, ignores their own promises for a ceasefire and generally seems to have forgotten that they are a lighter in a powderkeg and they keep flicking the thumbwheel.

I'm not saying Israel doesn't have a right to be mad, but please, if a "Hell's Angels" biker shoves me aside to get in a bar, I don't walk over and start pushing over his and his friend's bikes. Unlike the US President, I am not a fucking moron. (A note for neo-con wannabes: I'm not saying that the kidnapping is as minor as a shove. I'm saying that just because you've been wronged doesn't mean you shouldn't think through your response. But then, if you like the neo-cons, you're probably too thick to realize that, so I have to spell it out.)

Given how volatile this situation is, how many people are dying, and how the US and UK have lost virtually all trust of Muslim communities, Tony Blair is smart enough to know this situation must be delicately handled. After a considerable degree of inaction, for which he has been roundly criticized, Blair did the only thing he could do. He went on holiday, thus cementing his new relationship with Muslims worldwide.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the man who caught the keys Blair tossed is one John Prescott, Deputy Prime Minister. MPs are revolting and demanding to be called back to parliament because someone has to do something. What's worse, these are Labour MPs, Tony Blair's own party. Mr. Prescott now has a bit of a problem. If he recalls the MPs, then that's giving the proverbial "up yours" to Mr. Blair, something many British people have been curiously apathetic about (see previous "dead brown people" comment). If he doesn't recall the MPs, further inaction will immediately take place. Meanwhile, Muslims might not know who their friends are, but they certainly know who their friend's aren't.

So regardless of how happy you may be with Blair on the domestic scene, on the International scene, he's an absolute disaster. And let's face it, you know he's just hanging on to beat Maggie's record since he wants something positive in the history books. Of course, we Americans think Britain's a great ally because Tony Blair does exactly what we tell him to do, but please, you're a hell of a lot closer to this mess than we are. When are you going to wake up and realize that bombing people into peace isn't the best strategy to mend fences? If a husband got mad at his wife, should he tell her he has to get even with her before they kissed and made up? And then should he proceed to get even with her several times over, telling her all the while that he'll "make up real soon now?" That's what Israel is doing and Tony Blair, probably lying on a beach in the Carribean wearing a wifebeater t-shirt and carrying a can of Budweiser is cheering them on. Hmm, maybe he's not so different from Bush after all.

Cheers,
Ovid

  • Current Mood: pissed off pissed off

The great majority of Brits remember that they were lied to over WMDs. Today Blair talks peace while allowing bunker busters to go to Israel via the UK.
This last week he announced that the Palestine situation must be sorted, smart guy, but bin Laden said that years ago.

And for your info we do not accept govt shit as you do in the US
Well, I don't know about the 'accept govt shit' part, so I can't comment. It wouldn't suprise me, but people are letting Blair get away with murder.

Incidentally, while I'm somewhat sad that's nothing's really being done about Blair, I don't have anything against Brits. I'm quite happy to be over here and the people here are just wonderful.
Unfortunately, Bliar managed to stuff the parliamentary Labour party with his cronies, and even those who aren't his political clones are deeply concerned that if they revolt it would split the party and ultimately lead to them losing their nice cushy jobs at an election.

It's also worth noting, of course, that (if we ignore those too lazy to vote, whose opinions are of no consequence) Bush got an electoral majority, but Bliar didn't.
However, some people in the UK are scandalized by Blair's actions and inaction, revolted by the fact that he's clearly not stupid but actually chooses to behave as he does, and absolutely appalled to have to claim ownership of the odious man while the rest of the world assumes we don't care.

However, some people in the US are scandalized by Bush's actions and inaction, revolted by the fact that he's clearly stupid, half our populace is too stupid to notice, and absolutely appalled to have to claim ownership of the odious man while the rest of the world assumes we don't care.

We're really not that different :(
Some pretty big differences..
In this country, liberal isn't a dirty word, creationism isn't a political issue and we don't have laws against abortion or gay marriage.

We've three main parties covering a fairly balanced spectrum that are different enough to be worth voting for, instead of two barely distinguishable parties that would be described as 'right wing' in any other country.

Our judiciary is independant of the legislature, and our press are highly critical of the government.

The polls showed that unlike america, we were against the war, and have had to put up with terrorism on our own soil for decades.
Re: Some pretty big differences..
Ouch. I read all of that and there's really no way I can rebut it. You're absolutely correct.
Re: Some pretty big differences..
Well, I can rebut exactly one of those: the Law Lords are a subset of the House of Lords. The final word in the Judicary /is/ the Leglislature.
Re: Some pretty big differences..
Two caveats about that - the Law Lords aren't elected by the Commons/PM/Public but are experienced Judges with nothing to lose as their position is secure, and they don't actually write legislature : The House of commons can propose, amend and implement legislation - the Lords is merely a check on the legislature that is the Commons, the Lords only have the power to suggest that a law is amended and can be bypassed using the parliament act.

Further - you can appeal to the European Court of Human Rights for some cases.

If you look at the Law Lords, they are starkly different to the partisan members of both houses, and safely independant. In fact if the second house was elected, I'd want the Law Lords to remain elected by the Judiciary rather than the Public, Commons or Prime Minister.
Re: Some pretty big differences..
You're wrong, we do not have three different parties. We have the indistinguishable Tory/Labour coalition - what, you think tuition fees is a LABOUR policy? Yeah right! - and we have the Liberal Democrats.
Bush approval rating stands at 36%
http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm
and Blair's is at 27%
http://www.ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/leaders/blair/
It would be interesting to compare what causes spikes in approval. For Bush it seems to be violence and macho posturing. http://www.hist.umn.edu/~ruggles/Approval.htm
I bet Blair's approval peaks when he mesmerizes the population with one of his silver tongue orations.
It would be interesting to superimpose one chart over.
They are both very bad boys and someone should keep them separated.
Whew! Given all the wonderful things S and L have had to say about you, I didn't think I'd tick you off, but it's a fairly inflammatory post so when I saw your name pop up, I was a bit worried :)
I've seen more inflammatory posts than that, and not been offended. ;)

As I see it, Bush genuinely thinks he's doing the right thing... which in some respects makes him more dangerous than Blair, but less culpable. Blair is just a player, with an eye to the main chance; he thinks constantly about how best to make himself look good. Much as I disagree with 99% of what Bush has done & stands for, he at least has the interests of his country at heart.
One of the roots of the problem is that the country as a whole did not vote for Blair. Only the few hundred thousand people in his constituency did. As leader of the party that got elected, Blair becomes P.M. That's it, end of story. The only way of getting rid is if members of his own party throw him out, which is what happened to Maggie. He keeps promising to leave, and says he will not serve a fourth term, but now he is saying that he will not leave for another year. Brown does not want to try to push him, as historically, a divided party suffers even more than a party that has unpopular policies.

Criticism of T.B. is rife within the Labour Party. His Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, urged him to push for a Cease Fire in Lebanon, but he chose to ignore her advice. In the event of an international crisis, Blair becomes his own Foreign Secretary, which is presumably why he chose Beckett for the job, as she would be easier to walk all over than a man.

Yes, he's a tosser. No, I can't stand him. I voted Labour, and will continue to vote Labour, because Tony Blair is not the Labour Party (although frankly my own MP is not much better).

And more than a million people marched against war in Iraq in London, more across the country, and they were roundly ignored.

It's a flawed system, but show me one that isn't.



So the question, I suppose, is if you should consider primarally your local MP when voting, or the party -- if you want to vote out Blair more then you want to keep Ian Lucas. Looking at his WP article, that doesn't seem to be all that cut and dry. (In as much as he seems to hold nontrivial positions.) If I had that choice with my local MP, it'd be much more obvious. (I don't; not only is Evan Harris a libdem, I'm not a citizen.)
I'd argue, though, that no longer having Ian Lucas in Parlement is likely a small price to pay for getting rid of Tony Blair.
Sure, it'd be better if you didn't have to make that tradeoff, but you're right, all the systems are flawed.
Well, this is where we get to the nitty-gritty of what is wrong with the British Electoral system. Wrexham is a pretty safe Labour seat, therefore it is almost immaterial if I vote for him or the LibDems, or Forward Wales, or Plaid Cymru, or the Greens, or anybody for that matter. I would have to persuade several thousand other people to vote for someone else as well in order for Lucas the lose his seat. Then you have to go to work on all the other 'safe' seats around the country. With the 'first past the post' system that we have, as soon as you start splitting the vote more ways, the more chance you have of the party you *really don't* want getting in. BNP, anyone?

And there are wider issues to take into consideration also. Admittedly, Iraq and Lebanon are Big Issues, but then so are child poverty, education, health care etc etc.

OK, so Blair and his cronies (Lucas included) are shit, but can you honestly tell me, hand on heart, that lovely cuddly Ming Cambell would have done any different?

I keep hearing rumours and conspiracy theories about a 'Secret Pact' that was signed between Britain and America many years ago, that basically means we have to do anything that the US tell us to. Any clues?
(Anonymous)
I'd argue, though, that no longer having Ian Lucas in Parlement is likely a small price to pay for getting rid of Tony Blair.


Depends on who he'd be replaced with...
But what would happen then?
(Anonymous)
I'd argue, though, that no longer having Ian Lucas in Parlement is likely a small price to pay for getting rid of Tony Blair.


The thing you have to bear in mind is what he'd be replaced with. We wouldn't get somebody I'd like better as the leader of the country. We'd get the tories and "Dave".

And then, in all likelihood, Labour seeing a party to the right of their politics getting elected would take another jump to the right themselves.

Bugger.

Adrian
One of the (many) ways that Bush and Blair are similar is that they're both on the way out. Bush because he's on his last term, and Blair because he said he won't stand another general election and couldn't go back on that without his party chucking him out.


I think the Brittish people are doing pretty much what the americans are doing. Biding our time and hoping their elected leader goes away before he can screw up anything else.

Is Bush really stupid?
(Anonymous)
Is he? Really?

I don't buy it myself. Just like I never bought Reagan's friendly old cowboy image.

He's a clever little fucker. Absolutely lousy at thinking on his feet? Yup. Rubbish a public speaking? Certainly. Out of touch with the common man? Maybe. Stupid? Nah - don't buy it. You don't get to the position he has in business or government by being stupid. You get there by being a clever conniving little git.

To pick a rather bizarre analogy... I was fortunate enough to meet Douglas Adams once. Thoroughly pleasant person (and very tall). Not amusing though. He commented on how odd he found it that people expected him to be witty and funny in public, when he was absolutely lousy at doing anything off the cuff. Didn't stop him writing some damn funny stuff though.

Also I'm curious what makes you think the UK is complacent about Blair though. Maybe its just the company I keep, but I've yet to meet anybody who likes him. Seriously. Nobody. Zip. Nada.

Even at his height his defining characteristic was not being Tory/Major/Thatcher. People were not voting /for/ Blair, they were voting against the Tories. I certainly was. Believe it or not - they were actually worse.

Unfortunately I don't see that we're any more able to remove Blair than the left in the US are able to remove Bush. I'd love to find a way to get rid of the bugger without getting somebody worse as a replacement. Can you suggest one?

Cheers,

Adrian (writing from the heart of tory Dorset - I expect a lynch mob around in five :-)